Remember, Self, that this fear you feel that motivates you to withdraw and hide in an effort to protect yourself from potential pain – this fear is a signpost. It points in one direction: Home. But like any good signpost, there is ground beneath it, and you are awfully good at pitching a tent on any old spot that’ll do and outstaying your welcome. If you stay here, Self, camping out under a sign of fear, you’ll discover that just like keeping busy every waking moment is a sure way to build yourself a lovely casket where you will die alone, this fearful spot is the ground in which you’ll bury yourself.
Fear is normal, Self. There isn’t a person alive who has managed to avoid it, and we feel it because it tells us something is wrong, that there is danger, that we need to move toward a refuge. But you won’t find lasting refuge in a tent pitched on fearful ground. Your refuge isn’t a place where you can hide from the world and yourself and whatever may possibly go wrong. Your refuge isn’t a place at all. Your refuge is a Person, and He is ever with you, even in this tent you’ve pitched, waiting for you to let Him lead you out into this world of His, crazy as it may be, because there isn’t much life that can happen on a burial ground.
Open yourself up to Him, Self, and let Him teach you that courage is simply feeling the fear and going ahead with Him anyway, because you choose to believe that He is Who He says He is. Courage – real, genuine bravery – is taking Him at His Word when He says that He is for you. You are made of far greater stuff than this fear you feel; you are made of the mettle of One Who sweat blood in His darkest hour and rose up to pour out mercy on the undeserving because He believed that He is Who He says He is. Feel the fear, Self, and go ahead with Him anyway.
Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16, HCSB